COCAL Updates

COCAL is the Coalition of Contingent Academic Labor, a nearly 20 year old network of contingent activists and their organizations that does a conference (now tri-national – USA, CAN (including QBC) , and  MEX) every other year, usually in August. It also sponsors a listserv, called ADJ-L, and has an International Advisory Committee and a website and Facebook page>.

These updates are compiled and distributed weekly by Joe Berry and are reprinted here with his permission. These are the updates from June 11, 2016.

Editor’s NOTE:
Please join me in mourning the death of one of my heroes, boxing world champion Muhammed Ali, at 74 of Parkinson’s. Though “adopted” by the mainstream establishment in  recent years, for many people he always represented the ultimate personal courage, self sacrifice, generosity, resistance, and militancy in his refusal to fight in Viet Nam and his support for all struggles against the oppression of Black people. Please see the writing of Davie Ziron for some of the best commentary on Ali, including his book, “What’s My Name, Fool?”.






Coalition of Contingent Academic Labour (COCAL)

Early Bird Deadline Extended to June 15!

Join the Movement for Improved Working Conditions for Contingent Academic Workers

Our Goal for COCAL XII is for delegates to leave with concrete actions and strategies they can take back to their unions and associations. COCAL conferences build solidarity among contingent academics who are advocating for improved work conditions and a better future for higher education.
For all details see:[UNIQID]
Travel Notes
Just fyi, if you’re considering COCAL in Edmonton, the Cdn dollar has not been this low in terms of the Am dollar in a decade.  One Am dollar should get you about $1.40 Cdn, so $100 Cdn is about $70 Am. Frank (Cosco, Vancouver CCFA)
COCAL is the Coalition of Contingent Academic Labor, a nearly 20 year old network of contingent activists and their organizations that does a conference (now tri-national–USA, CAN (including QBC) , and  MEX) every other year, usually in August. It also sponsors a listserv, called ADJ-L, and has an International Advisory Committee and a website and Facebook page <>. See below at bottom for details on the listserv.


1. Fact-finding report back

2. Sign petition for free City College

3. National accreditor freezes membership

4. CFT files amended lawsuit against ACCJC

5. Bernie Sanders at Mission Center, CCSF
Sanders In The Mission: People Speak Out About Their Lives & Struggles
Hundreds of people attended a meeting at City College Of San Francisco on June 6, 2016  where Bernie Sanders spoke. Many participants talked about the problem of privatization of education, housing and the struggle for survival in San Francisco with massive gentrification. San Francisco City College faces attacks on the faculty and staff and sell-off of campuses. AFT 2121 is without a contract.
Additional media:
Labor Video Project

and also

6. AFT 2121 presentations to first session with fact-finders


1. U of Essex hikes female faculty pay to achieve equity. No mention of whether this includes contingents.

2. University staff to be held hostage to “student as consumer”

3. CNTE teachers march in Mexico City

4. Strikes protesting new labor code continue in France



1. Austerity at CUNY hits the NYT front page

2. NLRB curbs justification for hiring replacement workers in strikes (a win for us).

3. Ithaca FTNTT faculty join union (SEIU 200) with part-timers

4. TA’s speak out against proposed job cuts at U of WA

5. The hidden costs of adjuncting: staying alive and getting to work, by our colleague Lee Kottner

6. Info on unemployment insurance

7. Low wage and contingent workers (including profs) converge on Chicago

8. Academe’s “gay tax” and its relation to contingency

9. 800 grads win a union (AFT) at Portland State (OR)

10. Great new T-shirt, “Keep calm and let the adjuncts handle it” (the revolution?)

11. More on strike at Green River College, WA  (Can we get a report from a contingent there, like Jack Longmate perhaps?)

12. A very good article on our lengthening work day and week with special relevance to us, I think.

13. U Mass, Lowell adjuncts (NEA) seek equal pay with other campuses

14. Latest edition of

15. Contingent port drivers on strike in LA

16. McDaniel adjuncts vote 3-1 for SEIU 500
238 adjunct professors voted almost 3-1 to join SEIU local 500…thank you for the outstanding work put in by the McDaniel organizing committee and the Local 500/IU organizing team.



17. Call for papers for special issue of Radical Teacher on critical univiersity studies. edited by our colleague Bob Samuels of U of CA.

18. Adjuncts earn less than pet-sitters

19. Adjuncts are unionizing, but that won’t fix problems of higher ed

20. IL college faculty say cuts have ripped guts out of public higher ed

21. Profile of leader of NY taxi workers (all contingent)

22. Defunct for-profit college admits to defrauding students

23. For-profit college assoc. changes its name, again

24. Pennsylvania’s state universities (NOT Penn State) may face first strike in history by faculty

25. Two good and interesting articles on precariousness and the future and past of the US labor movement by Charlie Post of CUNY.


26. Organizing coordinator job for SEIU in Miami (where they are doing adjunct organizing)

27. Precaricorps to partcipate in art-making and contingency exhibit at U of IL, Chicago. See below for details.

28. Judge’s ruling gives UTLA organizers access to charter school teachers (This could have significance to our organizing in private higher ed, especially in the for-profits.)

29. Academic apartheid in higher education

30. Boston U adjuncts’ unionization has sparked efforts by other groups on campus

31. US working class (defined, and very poorly, as people without a college degree) will be majority people of color soon

32. Northwestern U faculty file for union election (Evanston, IL)

33. U of Chicago student body president disciplined just before graduation for demonstration partly in support of campus workers (for $15/hr.) and for letting campus workers into student meeting


One thought on “COCAL Updates

Your comments are welcome. They must be relevant to the topic at hand and must not contain advertisements, degrade others, or violate laws or considerations of privacy. We encourage the use of your real name, but do not prohibit pseudonyms as long as you don't impersonate a real person.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s